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Basement Wall Cracks

basement wall crack

Are your basement walls marred by troubling cracks? While it’s not uncommon to find minor imperfections in any home, these cracks could be telling you something crucial about your home’s health. 

Ignoring these cracks can compromise the structural integrity of your basement and open a pathway for water infiltration. Thankfully, FSM is here to help homeowners in Michigan and northwestern Ohio like you understand and tackle these issues. 

We’re committed to diagnosing the cause of your basement wall cracks and recommending time-tested solutions for a durable fix.  

What is a Basement Wall Crack?

When we talk about a basement wall crack, we mean any break in the perimeter walls that enclose your basement.  While not every crack signals impending doom, they should never be ignored.  

Their shape, location, type, and size can tell you a lot about the urgency and type of repairs needed. Our team performs a detailed analysis to recommend the most suitable repair methods. 

What Causes Basement Wall Cracks? 

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Understanding why cracks form in your basement wall can empower you to take informed steps to remedy the situation.  

At FSM, we strive to educate homeowners during our inspections, pinpointing the underlying causes that contribute to these pesky cracks. 

Soil Shifting and Settlement 

The ground beneath your house isn’t as static as you might think. It can shift due to various factors like erosion from excessive rainfall or drying conditions that make the soil contract. When the soil moves, it can lose its ability to support your basement, leading to cracks. These are often serious and require immediate attention. 

Pressure From Water: The Impact of Hydrostatic Pressure 

You may not see it, but water accumulates in the ground after rainfall or snowmelt, creating pressure against your basement walls. Known as hydrostatic pressure, this force can be significant enough to make your walls bow and crack. 

Seasonal Changes: The Freeze-Thaw Cycle 

If you’ve lived in Michigan or northwestern Ohio for long, you know how drastic the weather can shift with the seasons. This leads to repeated freezing and thawing cycles that put stress on your foundation. Over time, this stress often manifests as cracks, usually starting at the exterior corners of your basement walls. 

The Consequence of Faulty Curing 

Concrete needs to cure to reach its full strength, but mistakes like adding too much water or not letting it set long enough can weaken it. Weaker concrete is naturally more susceptible to cracking when subjected to external forces like soil pressure or freeze-thaw cycles. 

Invasion by Tree Roots 

It’s a surprising culprit, but tree roots can be quite invasive. As they grow in search of water, they can exert substantial pressure against your basement walls, particularly if the tree is located close to the perimeter of your home. Over time, this can result in cracking or even more severe structural damage. 

Is it Possible to Fix Cracked Basement Walls?  

Absolutely! Fixing cracked basement walls is not only possible but also essential for the safety of your home.  

At FSM, we utilize cutting-edge techniques to ensure your basement walls are not just patched but are reinforced to stand the test of time. 

Our Step-by-Step Repair Strategy Explained 

1. Comprehensive Assessment: Know What You’re Dealing With 

The first step is understanding what’s causing the cracks. Our skilled team will conduct a thorough assessment, mapping out each crack’s location, size, and pattern. We’ll determine whether soil shifting, hydrostatic pressure, or another factor is the culprit, so we can tailor a repair plan that targets the root cause. 

An FSM worker installs reinforcement to fix basement wall cracks.

2. Reinforcement: Adding Extra Muscle to Your Walls 

Depending on our assessment, we’ll choose the most effective reinforcement tools for your specific situation. This could be carbon fiber straps for minor cracks, or wall anchors and steel I-beams for significant structural concerns. Each reinforcement method is designed to make your walls stable and more resistant to future cracking. 

3. Waterproofing: No More Dampness and Leaks 

Water is a basement’s worst enemy. That’s why we may need to take additional steps to waterproof your space. Our drainage solutions aim to direct water away from your home, thereby reducing hydrostatic pressure that can cause your walls to bow or crack. We might use an interior drainage system, sump pump, or simply extend downspouts to keep your foundation dry. 

The Risks of Delaying Repairs: Why You Should Act Now 

It’s easy to ignore a small crack and think it’s a minor problem. But minor problems can escalate into significant issues that could jeopardize your home’s structural integrity and your family’s safety. 

  • Cracks can get worse over time, making them more challenging and expensive to repair. 
  • If water starts seeping in, you’re looking at potential flooding, mold growth, and even electrical issues. 
  • Neglecting cracks may also compromise the value of your home, should you decide to sell it in the future. 

Don’t put it off. Make the smart choice for your home’s longevity and your peace of mind.  

Contact FSM for Expert Crack Repairs 

An FSM inspector shakes the hand of a homeowner.

When it comes to repairing basement wall cracks, experience and local knowledge make all the difference. 

FSM has been serving communities across all of Michigan and northwestern Ohio for over 15 years. We understand the unique soil conditions and climate variables that are specific to this region, enabling us to offer highly effective, tailored solutions. 

Your home is a significant investment, and we treat it as such. Our team doesn’t just apply one-size-fits-all fixes. We examine the specific conditions affecting your basement and devise a strategy that aims for long-term durability. With our history of reliable service right in your neighborhood, you can trust FSM to deliver solutions that are both efficient and lasting. 

So don’t wait; contact us today for a free inspection. Let us put our 15 years of expertise to work in safeguarding the foundation of your home. 

FAQs

The time needed for repairs varies depending on the severity of the cracks and the specific solutions implemented. Minor cracks can often be addressed in a single day, while more extensive damage may require several days for full reinforcement and waterproofing. We’ll give you a time estimate during our comprehensive assessment. 

Insurance coverage for basement wall repairs is not guaranteed and can differ from one policy to another. It’s essential to check with your insurance provider to see if such repairs are covered. If they are, we can provide all necessary documentation to help you with your claim process. 

Yes, worsening signs can include widening or lengthening of the cracks, new cracks appearing, doors and windows becoming difficult to open or close, and noticeable dampness or water seepage near the affected area. If you notice these signs, it’s crucial to reach out to FSM. 

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Our Locations

Grand Rapids Office

5985 Clay Avenue SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49548

Livonia Headquarters

32985 Schoolcraft Road
Livonia, MI 48150

Rochester Hills

2817 Bond St.
Rochester Hills, MI  48309

Toledo Office

5555 Airport Hwy
Toledo, OH 43615

Traverse City Office

3805 Elmers Industrial Drive
Traverse City, MI 49685